Color vision deficiencies, also known as color blindness, is the condition or group of conditions that affect the perception of color, leaving an inability to see certain shades and hues. Color blindness is often present from birth, as it is most commonly an inherited deficiency.
Inherited Color-Blind Deficiency
Color blindness is an inherited vision deficiency passed down from our parents. Color blindness is an X-linked recessive trait. Meaning that the genes that determine color vision, OPN1LW and OPN1MW, are located on the X chromosome. The X chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes. For males, color blindness occurs when the OPN1LW or OPN1MW presents a mutation on the X chromosome. Colorblind deficiencies are much more common in men than women, as men have an X and Y sex chromosome, so the mutation only needs to be present on the single X chromosome. For women, the mutation must occur on both X chromosomes.
Considering women need to have the mutation on both X chromosomes, it is far less likely that they will experience color blindness. However, women are known as carriers of the trait. This means that women may have the mutation present on one of their X chromosomes. Because it is not present on both, they will not experience colorblindness. However, if a woman, in this case, were to have a son, he would inherit a color-blind deficiency as it only needs to be expressed on his singular X chromosome.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis for color blindness can be done easily through online tests or by visiting an optometrist. An inherited color vision deficiency cannot be treated or cured. Thankfully, color blind corrective glasses can be used as a supplemental aid to color blindness. These glasses give the ability to see color when worn by filtering out overlapping wavelengths of light that create sensitivity to certain colors.